Nathaniel Zimet made a name for himself and earned quite a few regular customers with the creative treatment of Southern comfort food he's been serving from the Que Crawl, the big, purple catering truck often found parked outside Tipitina's music club. This week, he's getting more permanent digs with the opening of Boucherie (8115 Jeannette St., 862-5514). The Carrollton-area restaurant is scheduled to open Tuesday and will serve lunch Tuesday through Saturday. Zimet plans to add dinner service within a few weeks. Some Que Crawl specialties like grit fries and cochon de lait are on the menu, but also look for mussels steamed with collard greens, housemade sausage and boudin, fresh pasta, ceviche and cheese plates. All prices are below $15. Zimet says the Que Crawl truck will continue serving late-night food outside Tipitina's.
First You Make a Roux
The Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival debuts this weekend with samplings of its namesake dish, a lineup of local bands and a holiday market. The festival is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Jazz & Heritage Center (1225 N. Rampart St., 558-6100; www.jazzandheritage.org), a new education and community center created by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit that runs Jazz Fest. Chef Alfred Singleton from Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse and chef Leah Chase from Dooky Chase Restaurant will give gumbo-cooking demonstrations at 11:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., respectively. Dooky Chase, Dunbar's Creole Cooking, Li'l Dizzy's and Olivier's Creole Restaurant will sell food. Admission is free.
Taste of Cognac
Cognac is the toast of the evening on Wednesday during a unique dinner hosted by Café Degas (3127 Esplanade Ave., 945-5635; www.cafedegas.com) and Swirl Wines (3143 Ponce de Leon St., 304-0635; www.swirlinthecity.com). A five-course meal will be paired with wines from Hahn Estate Vineyards and five cognacs from Pierre Ferrand Cognac, including its 70-year-old Ancestrale cognac. A representative from Ferrand will discuss each pour. The dinner, prepared by chefs Didier Ardoin and Ryan Hughes, includes Spanish ham on shortbread, duck terrine, braised daube of beef, pear sorbet with Mathilde cassis liqueur pearls and bittersweet chocolate marquise with fig crème anglaise. The dinner begins at 6:30 pm and costs $70 per person, including tax and tip. Call Café Degas for reservations.